Tip 1:Setup | Tip 2:Manual Mode | Tip 3:White Balance | Tip 4:Handheld Shutter

Tip 1. Camera Button/Command Setup

I learnt these setup tricks through experimentation and chatting to professional photographers. I find they make the camera easier to use and result in better photographs. They may take a little while to get accustomed to but I think you will find them useful once you have them mastered.

  • Spot Metering mapped to FUNC button
    In a complicated scene that contains both bright and dark elements the camera’s metering can get confused. What I do is select an object that is ‘mid-grey’, aim the camera at the object and press/hold FUNC (the meter now is representing this object). I then adjust settings to correctly expose for this object and release FUNC. Now I recompose shot and start shooting. I review the histogram often to make sure my ‘mid-grey’ object was a good choice, and I found it takes some practice to select a good mid-grey object.

  • Shutter Release button mapped to purely releasing shutter
    By default the Shutter Release also performs auto-focus. De-coupling these allows you to decide when to focus and when to shoot. This tip goes hand-in-hand with the next one…

  • AF-ON (or AE-L/AF-L) mapped to AF-ON (Auto-focus)
    Since your thumb is right next to the AF-ON (AE-L/AF-L) button its no effort to tap this prior to shooting. What it allows you to do is decide which object you want to focus on without having to half-press/recompose for each shot. I found this one of the hardest changes to get used to, but once mastered it allowed complete control over the focusing.

  • Command Dials mapped to Menus and Playback
    This maps the Rear Dial to next/previous photo and the Front Dial to cycle through shot info/histogram etc. I find it much easier to flick through photos using the rear dial than the multi-selector (which requires you to adjust your grip on the camera). There are two other advantages to this :-
    • 1. It is very easy to zoom in and out since you just need to hold the magnification button while turning the rear dial.
    • 2. The image-zoom isn’t reset each time you change image, meaning it’s very easy to flick through your images judging sharpness